News / Africa

    Egyptians Rally Against Ruling Military Council

    Egyptian women protesters shout as they raise slogans demanding the head of the military ruling council to step out at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, December 23, 2011.
    Egyptian women protesters shout as they raise slogans demanding the head of the military ruling council to step out at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, December 23, 2011.
    Noel King

    Thousands of Egyptians gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday, demanding that Egypt's ruling military council cede power to a civilian government.

    Friday’s rally began with a few hundred people, but by late afternoon the crowd had swelled to several thousand, who chanted demands for an end to military rule.

    The marchers represented a broad spectrum of Egyptian society, with liberal groups, conservative Salafis and women’s rights activists standing side-by-side.

    A march in support of Egyptian women drew hundreds of people to the square. Guwayha Gaber held a sign detailing what she called a list of abuses against women by the ruling military council.

    "The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is guilty of attacking Egyptian women here in Tahrir Square," she said via translator. "But more than that, the laws in Egypt are unfair to women."

    Egyptian women have become increasingly assertive in recent days, organizing marches and protests that spotlight what they call vulnerability of women in Egyptian society.

    Several amateur videos of female protesters being clubbed and kicked by Egyptian troops have shocked and angered Egyptians and drawn thousands to the streets in recent days.

    A separate march in memory of a prominent Egyptian religious leader drew hundreds more to the square.

    Islamic scholar Sheikh Emad Effat was fatally shot in the heart during a demonstration in Cairo last week.

    Twenty-three-year-old Omar Baghdash carried a photo of the scholar and said Effat’s death -- and the army’s denial of any involvement -- has infuriated many Egyptians.

    "He was killed by the army with a sniper shot in his heart," said Baghdash. "We call for the rights of Sheikh Emad. They said he was killed by a bullet shot to his stomach, not his heart. They say who killed him is not the army, that it’s a third party. It’s a lie."

    Despite their different backgrounds, protesters agreed on at least one thing: Egypt’s ruling military council should step aside and hand over power to a civilian government.

    Egypt is in the midst of parliamentary elections that have seen surprising success among conservative parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and the strictly conservative Salafi parties.

    Presidential elections are scheduled for July of 2012. Some Egyptians want that election held sooner.

    A separate rally in support of the military council reportedly drew several thousand demonstrators in Cairo’s Abbasiya neighborhood. Many Egyptians feel that the country would descend further into chaos without the firm hand of the military council.

    Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora